Documentary: Swedish Royal Wedding Dresses (2018)

Once upon a time, there were
five wedding gowns. In the first one, a young
woman became the Queen. I didn’t get married only to my husband,
but also with all the Swedish people. The second one was a gift to a couple– –who got to show their love to the
world after over 30 years of waiting. The third one provided security
to a crown princess– who married a prince of the people. To get support from the dress
in the big moment. It’s the greatest day
in our lives. The fourth one is carrying a secret
which is now to be revealed. I felt like Cinderella,
because the train was 1.40 m long– –and the Italian seamstresses ran around like
small mice and sewed up this dress. The fifth dress is a part of a history– –how a barefoot wedding
became a princely wedding. I always wanted to have
a simpler wedding– –but if you get married to a prince
it will be the different. This the story of
the royal wedding gowns. You can’t shoot the film out there. This kept the subjects
from the royal collections. No television team has previously visited
the Royal Household Utensil’s room– –this is at an undisclosed location. Many of the tens of thousands of objects
stored here are invaluable. We have workshops and warehouses
for a total of 10, 000 square meters. We manage around 250 000 objects– –80% of which can be
found at the royal palaces. The rest of the objects are preserved
in different places. Andreas Andersson is the head– –of the Royal House’s
department of conservation. He and textile conservator Stay Broman– –are here to take out one of the
royal family’s most private items. –Then we are ahead of the game, huh?
–Here is the dress in which we should take out. –It’s big.
–How should we resolve this? We should call someone
else who can help us– –to get the dress out. –How big is it?
–On its full length, it’s five meters. It needs to be taken out and folded up
to fit in our largest box. –We have the trailer here as well?
–The trailer fits together with the dress. –Is it mounted?
–Yes. We will solve it. We can put it on a
dock and have the trailer carry itself. But I think we can
stop it up with tissue paper. It is quite sensitive material,
lace and pleated thin silk –so we’ll take it gently. Madeleine’s wedding dress will be
made public at the Royal Palace– –along with the Queen, Princess Lilian,
Princess Sofia, and the Crown Princess’s dresses. On 17 October 2017 is the grand opening
in the hall of state at the Royal Palace. During the six months that it’ll run
“Royal Wedding Dresses” will attract 200 000 visitors. A warm welcome to the exhibition of
Royal Wedding gowns for over 40 years. An exhibition in the sign of love. These creations are a part
of the Swedish Royal history. For me, they symbolize the important
milestones in our family’s history. When I see myself in the hall
there are many fond memories that are brought. Both from our children’s wedding
and from our own 40 years ago. This dress is what Lilian wore when she
got married at Drottningholm Palace’s chapel. Here is Sofia’s beautiful
and very classy dress. They married in 2015. –There is a pair of lovely shoes…
–I have not seen them before. It’s a heart.
It’s very sweet really… Here is Madeleine’s dress,
a little more romantic. It was created by Valentino. This is Victoria’s dress.
It is very different. Clean and elegant, but very beautiful
and with a fantastic luster. The silk fabric is of high quality
and it was made by a Swedish designer. We now go to 1976. I don’t know if you
remember the rose… Yes. It was very sweet. The rose was found
by a person who worked with us. It’s from our wedding cake. He planted the bush, and so we got
the rose on our silver wedding anniversary. Here you see a small box
with the seeds in. While we were on the carriage
we found seeds– –as people threw them
as we drove through Stockholm. We got them at a good occasion. It’s all related. It is a dress
made by Dior. It has special memories… All the warmth directed to us
in Stockholm was fantastic. There was a lot of people on the streets
and everyone wanted to celebrate with us. It was like a giant family For me, it was even more special
because I felt so welcomed. It was an incredibly nice day. I often think of it. When on 19 June 1976
Miss Silvia Sommerlath– –marries Carl XVI Gustaf, it’s
the first Royal Wedding in Sweden– –since the late Gustav IV Adolf’s
wedding in Stockholm in 1797. The bride was wearing an ivory white
dress in silk duchesse– –from Dior’s French head designer
Marc Bohan. It’s very beautiful.
It’s from Dior. I got different sketches. Queen
Ingrid invited me to Copenhagen. I was there one weekend and showed her
the sketches, she was with me when choosing. It’s very simple,
but very beautiful. We had a nice cooperation
and discussions about the dress. Princess Désirée and Princess
Birgitta got married before me– and I wanted to use
the Cameo tiara like them. It was symbolic because I was
about to be part of the family. Dior had made a train
that was a very long– –and I didn’t want it that way. I wanted to have it as the king’s sisters. So the train is from Birgitta
and Désirée’s dress. You should have “something old
and something new”, so it was fine. 25 may 1961
Princess Birgitta got married,– –to Prince Johann Georg
of Hohenzollern in the hall of state. She wears the Cameo tiara. The dress was sewed in silk
by the Märtha school– –a fashion house in Stockholm
with activity between 1927 and 1975. Its French title
sewed garment– –came after designs from the fashion houses in Paris. The first collection of dresses from Paris– –appeared before an audience of fashion journalists With a resignerad sigh, we will submit
to the female expertise: The lines were new– and French tailors believed
that big woman lived here. The models were too large and
with the long-legged man suits. Märthaskolan sew up
Birgitta’s wedding dress– and the train that Silvia
decided to use 15 years later– –to her wedding dress from Dior. When on 5 June 1964
Princess Désirée,– –married Baron Niklas Silfverschiöld
in the Cathedral– –she wore the same dress
as her older sister three years earlier. As for the bridal veil, Désirée chose
Queen Sofia’s tip of the bleak– –just as her mother, Princess Sibylla,
wore at her wedding in Coburg in 1932– –when she married Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden
in a dress of silk and satin. The veil from the 1800s has
passed in succession in the Bernadotte dynasty– –then it changed with Oscar II’s
german-born wife Queen Sofia. Our current king’s
two other sisters– –also wore
Queen Sofia’s veil. Princess Margaretha in 1964 on the island of Öland– and princess Christina
ten years later. In 1976 miss Silvia is also seen
wearing the same bridal veil– –when she marries
Carl XVI Gustaf and becomes Queen. This is the veil I got to wear,
and it is very old. We were very careful
when we used it. Here we have the Cameo tiara. It’s very delicate
and very beautiful. It is believed,
and it is really probable– –that it was a gift from Napoleon
to Empress Joséphine. There are cameos,
thus, gems with a raised relief. It adapts to the dress. On a pink dress, it becomes pink,
on white, it becomes white. It can also be a little green.
It is a fantastic piece of jewelry. Your sisters Birgitta and Désirée,
but also Victoria got to wear it. And me in 1976. Weddings are so special.
It’s always a great day. You will remember every detail.
At least I do. I will also remember the time
when we came to the church. The King stood there and received me. When we went in
The only thing I could think of… I knew that the archbishop would
ask me, so I thought all the time: Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus,
Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus… At the same time, I felt that the King
tried to get the little bridesmaids– –to go a little faster,
for they went at a snail’s pace. There was a lot of love in the Cathedral– –from all the guests and the royal
families that were represented. I, Silvia Renate Sommerlath… …take you,
Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus… …to be my husband. When we came out
there were so many people… I got married not only to my husband,
but to all the Swedish people. I felt so welcome. It was very special,
a great day out. Then the King got his Queen– –and lovers got married. After waiting for over 33 years– –Prince Bertil may finally
marry the love of his life. Prince Bertil and Lilian Craig
met in London back in 1943. A few years after
they become a couple– –Prince Bertil’s brother, Prince Gustaf Adolf,
was killed in a plane crash. His son Carl Gustaf, who is to
to be King one day is not even a year old. A heavy responsibility rests on Bertil. He is the only legitimate
heir to the throne of his generation. Prince Bertil, promises to his father,
Gustav VI Adolf, not to marry– –until his brother’s son,
Carl Gustaf, gets married. Anything to secure the line of succession
and the monarchy. During more than 33 years, Prince Bertil
and Lilian sneak with their love. A wedding with a woman from the people– –meant that Prince Bertil
had to lose his title. After 12,153 days together
the big day arrived: On december 7, 1976– –Prince Bertil marries Lilian
in the Drottningholm Palace church. Sweden, in the same moment,
gains a new Princess. The Princess said it would be your
life’s longest half hour. Was it? It was the most wonderful half hour
of my life. I am very happy. The wedding dress was created by the
british Elisabeth Wondrak– –who passed away in 2006. Her two daughters, who often helped
with sewing, now live in Switzerland. We traveled there to find out more
about Lilian’s dim blue wedding dress. The daughters have sketches and letters– which were sent between Princess
Lilian and her mother, Elisabeth. The designer and the future
Princess meet during the 50’s– –the beginning of a cooperation
going on for over 50 years. There are
hundreds of creations– –of which around 30 pieces
are Nobel dresses. ♫ Cigarette holder,
♫ she wigs me over my shoulder… ♫ …that satin doll At the Royal Palace in Stockholm
we meet Margareta Nisser Dalman. She is the boss of the
Royal Household Utensil’s room. She is showing a part of the Palace
where several royals lived. The late Gustaf VI Adolf,
who lived here until his death in 1973. Now is part of the
textile conservation atelier. The wedding dresses had to come
here before the exhibition. We have that kind of commitment
from the royal family. We often set out pieces from the 1600s
or later. Then we keep the comments ourselves. But we have the owner of the
wedding dress living here. The royal family
has shown interest– and also helped with things. The exhibition’s commissioners have received
input from the owners of the dresses. –There are some examples of it?
–Yes, among other fashion accessories. We hardly dared to ask about them. Shoes and bags were their idea
and it lifted the whole dish. It was also a piece of myrtle
from the royal coiffure– –that she received as a gift from her mother. They contributed spontaneously with the subject. This is the myrtle that I gave to the
the Crown Princess when she got married. It has a history. Crown Princess
Margareta, your grandmother– –gifted a myrtle plant
to queen Ingrid. It has been inherited. We also got
myrtle when we got married. It is available in the greenhouse
of Ulriksdal Palace. We did a little myrtle wreath
to Victoria. We all have borne a myrtle
wreath in the hair. It’s nice that she saved it. The myrtle branch is an illustration of– –how a wedding ties together
history, families, and the future. A royal wedding is special– –because it is a concern
for many more than just the bride and groom. But basically because
it’s not unlike other marriages. At the heart of every wedding
there is love. The promise to stand by each other’s side
in joy and sorrow. Dear Victoria and Sofia. These dresses remind me
not only about your wedding. But also that I also had the
good fortune to have three children– –who have been wise enough to follow
their hearts, just as I did. Hereby I declare
the exhibition opened. Thank you! It’s an exhibition
that is very close to me. It may not be… …it happens so often to a show
feels so tangibly strong. It was fun to see her dress
on the way – and the others too. It was very nice
that the family was together. It is clear that there are
a lot of strong feelings on my part. ♫ I’m standing by an angel ♫ Tears well up inside ♫ Feelings of belonging ♫ of gratitude and pride ♫ I’m blinded by your presence ♫ in this moment that we’re in ♫ If Good was to describe you ♫ where would he begin? ♫ Your colours blend together ♫ and you become the light ♫ If only you could see
♫ the way you shine ♫ Darling, when you tell the world
♫ you’re mine ♫ You’re the future I believe In Pär Engsheden got the mission to
create the royal wedding dress. With such a dress, you are thinking of
how to get in it. It is important
that you can step into the dress. So that you can have makeup done
and put on a tiara– –and still being able to get in or out of it. Why is there a zipper in the back? To hide
the little drop in the back. You can stop in there,
so that it becomes like a pocket. The dress is made with
double-sided duchesse silk. There are two duchesse fabrics together,
so it’s a heavy silk fabric. The dress is sewn with the light
that it’s a historic garment. Everything is sewn by hand
and there is nothing that is pasted. If something is to be reinforced
it is sewn with small stitches– or built with harder materials,
such as organza and other types of fabrics. There is a lot of handwork on it. Maybe we can see it here… Here I have sewn it together by hand. These are hand sewn. They are for
the beak to be able to keep the train. Here is the feed from scraps
with three millimeter stitches – heirloom. Below it is the entire seam allowance attached,
so that it will not slip. The outer edge is padded with a batting
that it can hold out the train. So it may not roll itself
or go to the side– –when one goes up on the altar stairs. It is important that the train is being held out,
so that the veil can lie on it. You can say that… If you solve the train, you can snap it out
by snapping up the acer. It runs in a channel around it. It sits firmly at the waist,
in the wideband. It absolutely must not fall off– or get drawn into the train,
so it must be sitting properly. The train is adapted to a veil. Because the veil is historical– –it was important
that the veil did not end up outside. The train had to be there as a protection– –so the fine tip
would not be torn apart. The work with the Crown Princess’
wedding dress is done in secret. Not even Pär Engsheden’s neighbors
learn about what he sews there. It is important to keep the nerves
in place. Nothing can go wrong. It is, of course, a future queen
who is going to get married. The wedding will be seen by millions
and have a place in the history books. Pär Engsheden is very careful and
no one is allowed to come into the studio– –with coffee or other things
that can tarnish the bottom silk fabric. You are not allowed to eat things
that have much pigment. Preferably nothing with much colour pigment
as dark chocolate or red berries. Therefore, I didn’t eat so much of
those during that time. You must wash your hands often.
The needles can even get oxidation. This is made of metal
and protects against needle stick. The needles must be clean. There can’t be minimum verdigris
on them, for then there will be marks. Before you cut the fabric
you go through it– –to look after fabric errors
or inaccuracies in the fabric. What happens at a royal wedding
if an accident occurs? We asked the court textile conservator– –what to do
if, for example, a wine glass spills over. Yes, what happens then?
I am out of the game at that stage. I think about how the bride would react.
Of course, there is salt on the table. A little bit of salt on, now, if it was red wine. There are also staff
standing closely behind the royal– and can assist with most things. I think they might sneak
to the kitchen and get something appropriate– –and a little discreet help. After the wedding when I or my
colleagues get the chance to get close– –we can look at the stain
more thoroughly. –How do you do it?
–It depends on the stain. Red wine is not the most fun
on a white dress. The longer the stain is allowed to sit,
the harder it is to get rid of it. Some spots may accept
that you can’t lose. Then you get mentally set on
and think: It shows that the dress has been used
and is a memory from that time. Then the stain can
become something positive instead. –Was it any of those spots?
–No, and it amazes me. The only dirt, and it is completely
inevitably, it was on the train– –which has lagged in the hill,
and on the skirt hem at the bottom. But no patches for the other.
Incredible, I think. Victoria chooses as her grandmother,
her mother and three of her aunts– –to have her bridal veil
made of Brussels lace. With the wedding dress it becomes more difficult. The Crown Princess has no clear picture
of how it should look like. Many start from a sketch, but it
was not my wedding dress. It was a process.
It hurts. For me, it felt right. It was a way
to prepare myself for the big day. It looked completely different
from the beginning, and then it grew up. It was important that it would
feel like “me”, and be safe. To get the support of the dress
in the big moment. Dear, dear friends. [SCREAMS] I would first like to thank the Swedish people– –for giving me my Prince. Three years later
it’s time for her little sister– –to marry
businessman Christopher O’neill. We met Madeleine in London
to hear how it was– –to design her wedding dress together with
Italian Valentino Garavani. It was very exciting.
I met Valentino before– –so when he asked if he could make
my wedding dress it felt natural. He gave me a few different sketches– and I felt quite directly
“which one should it be?”. We met only two times
in order to make the dress. It was fun –
he had a lot of pugs with him. They sat on the dress everywhere and the
poor Italian seamstresses tore their hair out. So it was a very fun process
to make the dress. It was good. It was very nice. The wedding dress consists of
a top part in white lace– and a skirt
in the pleated side organza– –where there is an ivory
white Chantilly lace applied. A very exclusive bobbin lace
with contour threads on silk. The train is four meters long,
and the veil made of silk organza– –is full of orange blossoms
in chantilly lace. The Valentino dress
carries a secret– –Princess Madeleine of Sweden
talks about it for the first time. He [Valentino] has his studio in Paris,
so the dress was sewn up there. Then the hit came, it is pretty funny… Many brides recognize themselves that in
the days before the wedding they are a bit nervous– and you lose a bit of weight. I was putting on my dress,
and I would hear the bells begin to call… And the dress was way too big. I felt like Cinderella,
because the dress was 1.40 m long– –and the poor Italian seamstresses ran around
like small mice and sewed up this dress. Dad stood at the threshold
and was very patient… It was good, but I was nervous when
the bells rang and they were still sewing. The wedding dress
thus becomes clear at the last moment. The dress and the dramatic
minutes before the wedding– –are now a part of the royal family
and Sweden’s history. Two years later, on June 13, 2015– it is time for
little brother Carl Philip’s wedding A royal wedding dress is now being sewn,
for a young woman from the River Valley. I had been thinking about me
wanting a simpler wedding. But if you get married to a Prince
it will be different. How did the wedding dress get started? I didn’t have any vision of how I
wanted my wedding dress to look like. I started by googling
and got stuck really early by a dress– –which I thought was very beautiful. It suited me and the context– –so I saved down the photo
as a source of inspiration. I chose Ida Sjöstedt as a designer– and it went hand-in-hand
with her style. I checked further, but she was
the first designer that I found. I took it to Ida, who made his
version of it. I am more than satisfied. –Welcome!
–Thank you. Here is our showroom
where we usually meet with clients. We had the fittings on after-hours– –because no one else on the job knew about it
We said that the customer was called Camilla. Now we’ll see if I can find something… This is actually the fabric
that we used in the dress. It’s white on white now
and a little hard to see. We cut out small flowers
and embroidered everything by hand. We made two dresses for
the Princess, an evening dress– –which also appeared for the first time
on the exhibition. We wanted
another model –that you could party with. It didn’t have a long train and was
asymmetrical – a little Greek goddess-like. And the fabric in the wedding dress…?
–It’s cotton lace. Cotton sounds like a simple material,
but it’s a very exclusive fabric. The fabric is often from a synthetic material, but
cotton lace is comfortable against the body. Why did you choose these fabrics? We wanted to have a lace
that was quite wide– –and where we
could apply and cover-up. We have additional fabric in the
sleeves to make it more opaque. So that it wouldn’t be too transparent. I wanted to find
a really beautiful flower. It was the one we were looking the most for. –Where did you find it?
–It is from a Spanish supplier. It’s made in France,
so it’s a French fabric. They are known for
making the finest fabrics. When I got the assignment… Camilla Åstrand,
Sofia’s then-stylist– –asked me if I
wanted to design the wedding dress. Of course I wanted to! It was
a dream that came true. I immediately knew that it was great. The feeling was above all joy,
but also the nervousness– –because it was such a heavy mission
that happens once in life. It was a lot of emotion.
We scheduled the first meeting. If I remember correctly she said that if
it wasn’t a royal wedding– –she would have anything bohemian,
maybe a barefoot wedding on a beach. And then I took that in mind. We had about a half a year with us– –from the first meeting
to the finished dress. This is one of the first sketches. It’s very simple,
but with the lace… I didn’t get enough space on the paper. The edge of the lace would follow the train– –so it went together with all the
lace applications on the dress. You make a sample before
sewing the right fabric. We often work with recycled materials
that have the similar quality and cases. We cut out and embroidered it on the lace,
though it was a cheaper fabric– –so that the Princess would get
a clearer picture when she tried it. When you as a customer to try a toile
it can be difficult to visualize. It was important to make it clear– –so that everyone was safe with
how the work progressed. There we have it.
It almost looks like a… Here we have the train We put it on the table
and laid it out. Ida Sjöstedt created a dress
with a simple design –but she uses an exclusive material
that is challenging to work in. The foundation becomes a silk
sheet with the soft case. On it a layer of organza, which gives
transparency and life to the dress. The dress should feel thin and soft
and see the cast out on the princess. The seams are hidden with lace embroidery. It is a craft
that takes almost six months. The day before the wedding
the wedding dress is finished. Does the Princess remember the feeling
when she put on her dress for the first time? Yes, I remember.
I was so grateful– –for that Ida had made such a
amazing creation of my vision. It was what I felt the most–
I felt gratitude. I liked that it was romantic,
but still elegant. And that there was
a touch of something artistic. The intersection was set quite high up,
which I personally like. Was it difficult to keep everything a secret? No, I don’t think so.
It went really well. The week before the wedding, they would try
the dress with the hairstyle and the tiara. Then Matilda went to the Palace– and had the dress
in a bag from a DIY store. There were photographers outside,
but no one noticed anything. It was smuggled in and out
in an hour. –What did you do during the wedding ceremony?
–I sat with my family watching the tv on the couch. As soon as she came in and everything was as
it would, I was calmed and happy. My greatest memory
from before the ceremony was when… We were ready in good time and had to wait
outside of the vault for a good while. Then I got in time with my dad. It made a whopping difference
in the big picture. It made me
very peaceful and safe– and not nearly as nervous
as I had thought. I enjoyed it very much– and it was a coincidence
we had to wait. I don’t remember the reason
why it happened. It is a memory
I like very much. –How was it then to go in?
–It was amazing. First and foremost, to have all of my
sweet bridesmaids in front of me. We had been rehearsing a lot. They did it gallantly. To enter
and face the sea of people– –that you have met
throughout the journey of this life. You have picked the raisins out of the cake. All that meant something extra
there– –together with my new family. It was an incredible feeling. The music was very special. It was a song by Enya,
a very… how to say it? Emotional and a little grand,
that meant very much. With the music
it felt very powerful. And of course when I saw Carl Philip. ENYA: “ATHAIR AR NEAMH” What about the dress? It is a symbol of the day
when Carl Philip became mine– –before all the Swedish people… It is a symbol of our love– and that we had come
all the way there, after everything. ♫ Had never dared to dream
♫ a love like this ♫ Somebody loves me
♫ just as I am ♫ As if the heart holds it’s breath,
♫ as if time stops for the ♫ And together we are the strongest ♫ Everything I am, everything I have ♫ My last breath ♫ I will love you
♫ with heart all kind ♫ All I ask, all I want to ♫ to wake up close to ♫ To love you in all my dar ♫ With all I have Captions: Sara Vikström Åhlén
(c) Sveriges Television AB 2018


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